PLEASE HELP! (Sulcatas with MBD)

_emf

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I took 2 Sulcatas in today from an old friend who was looking to give them away. She acknowledged she isn’t able to care for them and they’ve been ignored for quite some time. Since I currently have my own Sulcata, I decided to take them in (temporarily) and see how i can help.

When i picked them up, i realized how bad it was. Both tortoises are badly pyramided. The bottom part of the small tortoise even looks deformed. It also walks on its knees and it doesn’t seem to be able to go into its shell.
The bigger one hasn’t walked since I’ve had it (i picked them up an hour ago). So im not sure if it has the same issue.

My sister is going to take in the smaller tortoise to help me. Our current plans are as follows…
1. Soak them every day for 2 weeks then every other day until it feels okay to go to every 2-3 days.
2. Diet - green, grass, calcium
3. Warm lighting
4. Lots of space to walk all day
5. Vet visit

If anyone has some advise for a first time foster tortoise mom. I would greatly appreciate it!! I love tortoises and this just breaks my heart.
 

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wellington

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They both have MBD. They need the best uvb possible. Sunshine is the best. Tube florescent is second best.
They also need the best diet possible with added calcium 3 to 4 times a week.
I would also try some water therapy. Put them in a tub of warm water and while barely holding them up try to get them to move their legs. A big area to exercise and soft substrate like coconut coir or grassy yard to spare the ones knees from damage.
@Yvonne G should be able to help further.
So sad your friend let them get so bad before realizing they needed better care.
Glad you stepped in to try and give them a better life.
Good luck.
 

_emf

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They both have MBD. They need the best uvb possible. Sunshine is the best. Tube florescent is second best.
They also need the best diet possible with added calcium 3 to 4 times a week.
I would also try some water therapy. Put them in a tub of warm water and while barely holding them up try to get them to move their legs. A big area to exercise and soft substrate like coconut coir or grassy yard to spare the ones knees from damage.
@Yvonne G should be able to help further.
So sad your friend let them get so bad before realizing they needed better care.
Glad you stepped in to try and give them a better life.
Good luck.

Thank you for the advise. Its greatly appreciate it. We will definitely do water therapy.
 

_emf

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I took 2 Sulcatas in today from an old friend who was looking to give them away. She acknowledged she isn’t able to care for them and they’ve been ignored for quite some time. Since I currently have my own Sulcata, I decided to take them in (temporarily) and see how i can help.

When i picked them up, i realized how bad it was. Both tortoises are badly pyramided. The bottom part of the small tortoise even looks deformed. It also walks on its knees and it doesn’t seem to be able to go into its shell.
The bigger one hasn’t walked since I’ve had it (i picked them up an hour ago). So im not sure if it has the same issue.

My sister is going to take in the smaller tortoise to help me. Our current plans are as follows…
1. Soak them every day for 2 weeks then every other day until it feels okay to go to every 2-3 days.
2. Diet - green, grass, calcium
3. Warm lighting
4. Lots of space to walk all day
5. Vet visit

If anyone has some advise for a first time foster tortoise mom. I would greatly appreciate it!! I love tortoises and this just breaks my heart.


UPDATE:
The smaller tortoise looks swollen. It also looks like it has a ball in its throat, my sister touched it slightly and she said its hard. She also mentioned she held it with 3 fingers on its bottom part and she said she felt like a stretch. She’s currently cleaning what seems like dry blood in between its scales.
 

Jan A

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I took 2 Sulcatas in today from an old friend who was looking to give them away. She acknowledged she isn’t able to care for them and they’ve been ignored for quite some time. Since I currently have my own Sulcata, I decided to take them in (temporarily) and see how i can help.

When i picked them up, i realized how bad it was. Both tortoises are badly pyramided. The bottom part of the small tortoise even looks deformed. It also walks on its knees and it doesn’t seem to be able to go into its shell.
The bigger one hasn’t walked since I’ve had it (i picked them up an hour ago). So im not sure if it has the same issue.

My sister is going to take in the smaller tortoise to help me. Our current plans are as follows…
1. Soak them every day for 2 weeks then every other day until it feels okay to go to every 2-3 days.
2. Diet - green, grass, calcium
3. Warm lighting
4. Lots of space to walk all day
5. Vet visit

If anyone has some advise for a first time foster tortoise mom. I would greatly appreciate it!! I love tortoises and this just breaks my heart.
Breaks my heart, too. Thank you for taking them in. And welcome to the forum. There are many owners with first-hand experience in taking in abandoned or neglected torts, so don't be shy about asking questions. We are here to help.
 

Big Ron

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I'm very happy you stepped in to help,but whoever you got them from the what these pictures show is absolute abuse i have never been able to understand how the human animal can treat others this way when a few calls long ago could have had them placed in a rescue or sanctuary,I really hope you can help
 

_emf

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Breaks my heart, too. Thank you for taking them in. And welcome to the forum. There are many owners with first-hand experience in taking in abandoned or neglected torts, so don't be shy about asking questions. We are here to help.
Thank you ?
 

_emf

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I'm very happy you stepped in to help,but whoever you got them from the what these pictures show is absolute abuse i have never been able to understand how the human animal can treat others this way when a few calls long ago could have had them placed in a rescue or sanctuary,I really hope you can help
I feel the same way.
 

_emf

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How is the smaller turtle doing??
It seems like the swelling is going down. Today it its little head was able to go into its shell and arms but its still unable to put its little feet in. So far its being soaked daily and water therapy during that time.
Both torts have an appointment with a vet so we’ll learn more today. I’ll post another update after.
 

dd33

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A question for the rehab experts... Can a tortoise with upturned legs like that be saved and rehabilitated? Can it regain control of its legs in the future?
 

ZEROPILOT

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A question for the rehab experts... Can a tortoise with upturned legs like that be saved and rehabilitated? Can it regain control of its legs in the future?
Probably not.
The bones CAN harden again. And it's a long process and the MBD itself is very painful.
But the bone damage is permanent. So if the MBD can be stopped. The damage can not be reversed.
I'm not sure what I would do in this situation. Except to follow whatever advice the vet gave me.
These tortoises are as bad as I've ever seen.
 

_emf

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AFTER VET VISIT UPDATE:

Big tortoise: xray shows its bones are fragile and its shell is too soft for its age and size. Its also dehydrated. The vet wants us to take it back in a couple of months to do another xray for an update on its bones and shell. She’s worried there’s permanent damage and it’ll stop growing. A stool sample was also requested to check for parasites. Overall, she has hope with the right nutrition and care, it can live a good life and the pyramiding can be slowed down.

Small tortoise: It has an infection, we were given antibiotic injections. Bones and shell are delicate and weak. Vet confirmed it’s swollen and dehydrated. X-ray showed its front arm bone is not formed correctly. Its back bones are weak and wasn’t able to tell if the damage is permanent. They wanted to also take blood sample to check for animia but the tort didn’t want to cooperate. Also requested a stool sample. Overall the vet said, she isn’t able to confirm the tort will make it many more years ?

They were both also given Carafate for 10days.
 

Sarah2020

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Wow what a state! The medical care and your provision of calcium, diet, hydration, light and heat etc...will all help to improve and will be so rewarding for you. I am sure in a couple of weeks they will know your on their side to help them as they start to feel better.
Good luck and please keep us posted.
 

Lyn W

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That is so sad and shocking that your friend could let those animals get to that state, but thank you for trying to help them. They are already having a better life and I hope your TLC can save them.
@zovick and ZenHerper may be able to offer some advice.
 

_emf

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That is so sad and shocking that your friend could let those animals get to that state, but thank you for trying to help them. They are already having a better life and I hope your TLC can save them.
@zovick and ZenHerper may be able to offer some advice.
Thank you and yes, please I’ll take any advise given. Anything helps
 

Toddrickfl1

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I took 2 Sulcatas in today from an old friend who was looking to give them away. She acknowledged she isn’t able to care for them and they’ve been ignored for quite some time. Since I currently have my own Sulcata, I decided to take them in (temporarily) and see how i can help.

When i picked them up, i realized how bad it was. Both tortoises are badly pyramided. The bottom part of the small tortoise even looks deformed. It also walks on its knees and it doesn’t seem to be able to go into its shell.
The bigger one hasn’t walked since I’ve had it (i picked them up an hour ago). So im not sure if it has the same issue.

My sister is going to take in the smaller tortoise to help me. Our current plans are as follows…
1. Soak them every day for 2 weeks then every other day until it feels okay to go to every 2-3 days.
2. Diet - green, grass, calcium
3. Warm lighting
4. Lots of space to walk all day
5. Vet visit

If anyone has some advise for a first time foster tortoise mom. I would greatly appreciate it!! I love tortoises and this just breaks my heart.
This is bordering on animal abuse imo. There's no excuse for that. Bless you for taking them in and trying to help.
 
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